Kenneth G. Brill, known to many as the father of the modern datacentre, passed away on Tuesday. He was 69 years old.
Brill, who was an electrical engineer by trade, helped pioneer a number of datacentre innovations including dual power topology, the tiered system used to rank datacentre performance, and IT/facility energy efficiency and productivity measurement.
The advent of dual power topology and this approach to fault tolerance stems directly from Kenneth’s early work on facility design.
In 1993 Brill founded the Uptime Institute, an independent datacentre research, education and consulting organisation focused largely on offering tiered certification and accrediting tier designers and tier specialists. The organisation, later acquired by 451 Group, is dedicated to improving the performance and efficiency of datacentres globally.
“Ken Brill was a rare and special man,” said Martin McCarthy, chairman and chief executive officer ofThe 451 Group. “Part visionary thinker, part ruthless pragmatist, he was an iconoclast and innovator, and a man of great integrity and passion. He is legitimately known around the world as ‘The Father of the Data Center Industry.’”
“We will all deeply miss this brilliant and bristly individual,” McCarthy said.
“Ken Brill was inspired in his thinking, and resolute in his principles,” said Julian Kudritzki, chief operating officer of Uptime Institute. “As a personality and an innovator, he left an indelible imprint on the IT and data center industry. His innovations are so fundamental to the progression of the data center industry over time that it is difficult to believe they can be traced back to the energy and passion of a single man. With Ken’s passing, the industry mourns a ferocious critic and committed agent of change,” Kudritzki said.
“Not only did Ken create a product line to help data center operators manage airflow more efficiently, his passion and practicality for improving the industry led to his founding of a number of organizations where thought leaders could come together in a collaborative environment to further the cause of data center efficiency,” said John Thornell, president of Upsite Technologies.
Brill held an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Redlands and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Redlands.